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Radiologic Technologist Job Description

What are the Job Duties of a Radiologic Technologist?

In a Nutshell:

Radiologic Technologists, also known as Rad Tech's or RT's, assist the Radiologist physician with the process of imaging and diagnosing illness. Radiologic Technologist job descriptions include tasks such as: capturing the image, obtaining the best quality image, and ensuring the patients are comfort and safe. The RT; however, does not do the actual diagnosing as this is the function of the physician or Radiologist M.D. The Rad Tech must be able to effectively explain the procedure to the patient and be sure that they are comfortable and at ease during the procedure; however, it is very important that they do what is necessary to obtain a high quality image that will be sufficient for thorough examination by the physician and allow for correct diagnosis.

Patient Positioning:

Positioning a patient for an exam may sound simple; however, it is commonly known among RT's that patient positioning can be challenging for a number of reasons. The patients may be sick and at different levels of severity of illness. They may have trouble maintaining the position needed to get the best quality image because of their illness or simply because they are elderly or handicapped. Other reasons include patient anxiety or even anger about the possibility that they have an illness. A major part of the radiologic technologist job description is to have strength of character to work through these challenges with the patient in a calm, compassionate, and professional demeanor. After all, it is in the best interest of the patient to get the best quality images taken to aid in their road to recovery. As an RT, you will have a full understanding of the protocols and requirements of positioning depending on what the specific case warrants and what the ordering physician has requested.

Find Radiology SchoolsSafety Concerns:

To prevent unnecessary exposure to radiation during certain procedures, an RT will use protective devices such as lead shields. The amount of radiation you exposure yourself to is documented and tested on an ongoing basis to ensure that there will be no adverse side effects to you. Patients are of course, also protected from radiation exposure and there are strict protocols for the amount of radiation used depending on the type of procedure being performed. Different organs and tissues within the body have various levels of sensitivity to radiation. Rad Tech's are trained to understand this and to adjust radiation levels and precautionary measures according to radiology-info.org.

What types of Procedures and Modalities Do Rad Tech's Use?

Radiologic Technologists can operate in a wide variety of settings from emergency room and trauma assistance, bedside, or in a standard medical imaging facility. Jobs are available most commonly in hospitals and medical imaging centers, but also in physician offices, veterinary offices, and dental practices. The types of procedures performed are many and the radiologic technologist job description may vary depending upon the size and scope of the facility. Some of the most common include CT (Computed Tomography), MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), and Ultrasound (Diagnostic Medical Sonography). To view a more comprehensive resource on the various modalities and specializations, visit our radiology specializations page.

Radiologic Technologist Job Description Sample

  • Patient communication and preparation including removal of garments or jewelry that may interfere with procedure and explaining how the process works.
  • Positioning patients properly to obtain x-rays, CT scans, MR scans, or mammograms (see radiology categories below)
  • Setting the equipment to obtain the best density, detail, and contrast of the area being imaged.
  • Taking preventative steps to avoid unnecessary exposure to radiation.
  • Applying their knowledge of anatomy and physiology to the process in order to help the physician diagnose problems.
  • Must be able to closely follow physician instructions, prepare radiography equipment, position patients, and obtain optimal images for diagnosis.
  • Must be able to communicate calmly, compassionately, and professionally with all different types of patients including the elderly, ailing, and handicapped.

Radiology Programs:

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5 Program(s) Found
Kaplan College - KHE , North Hollywood
  • Some campuses host low-cost medical and dental clinics, where students can get real-world experience.
  • Designated as 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media.
  • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1976.
  • Campus-specific accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), and the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
  • 16 campus locations across the United States.
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  • Many programs require externships, allowing students to gain real-world experience.
  • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1984.
  • Offers 22 accelerated, career-focused program options including business administration, medical assisting, and more.
  • Regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
  • 12 campuses across California, with an online division as well.
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  • A Seventh-day Adventist institution located in Orlando, Florida that specializes in allied health and nursing education.
  • Associated with Florida Hospital, and Adventist Health System which is operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
  • Has campus ministries that provide students with Christian educational experiences that include assembly programs, music, drama, and more.
  • Offers a growing number of programs at its Denver, Colorado campus.
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  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked 23rd among the Best Online Graduate Education Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • A public research university with an enrollment of more than 42,000 students.
  • Its student-faculty ratio is 16:1, and 43.1% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
  • Has been the source of many discoveries creating positive change for society including co-op education and the oral polio vaccine since its founding in 1819.
  • Provides distance learning advisors to assist students.
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Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
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1 Program(s) Found
Platt College , Riverside
  • A Los Angeles-based private college offering programs in medical sciences, legal studies, and graphic design since 1985.
  • Has weekend programs, including certified  veterinary technology, nurse assistant, and hemodialysis technician.
  • Showcases visual communication students’ artwork and design through campus magazine.
  • 3 campuses in Southern California.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits